High costs fuelling Facebook exodus, says analyst

Studios "moving aggressively" to mobile, web development

High costs and reducing returns are driving aspirational developers away from Facebook to mobile and browser development, says Benchmark Capital's Mitch Lasky.

Speaking to the LA Times, Lasky spoke about the shift away from what was until recently seen as a happy hunting ground for social developers.

"Facebook is still a viable platform for independent developers looking to make money on a game," said Lasky.

"However, companies with aspirations to be larger publishers - Kabam, Kixeye, even Zynga - are moving aggressively off the Facebook platform to mobile and the open Web. Publishers aren't convinced that the costs of being on Facebook are worth it."

The article cites the example of Crowdstar, which recently raised $11.5 million in funding to "double down on mobile" development in order to shift away from Facebook. A year ago, 90 per cent of Crowdstar's revenues came from Facebook. Today, it's just ten per cent.

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Latest comments (8)

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 5 years ago
This is very interesting indeed and explains PopCap's current troubles. They are stuck on a less viable platform.
It looks like there has been a huge change in Facebook behaviour. Whilst the user base may be still expanding numerically people are putting far less time and commitment into it. It is no longer damaging Britain's GDP by consuming working hours in the way it once was.
Also Twitter has become immensely more popular, but to a different kind of user than before. Now they are mainly following celebrities and not tweeting much themselves.
Then there is Pinterest, supposedly the fastest growing social network. And one that is of especial interest to women.
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Ian Brown IT Developer / IT Infrastructure 5 years ago
Myspace?....... just thought I'd mention it..
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game5 years ago
"This is very interesting indeed and explains PopCap's current troubles. They are stuck on a less viable platform"
Really? When I think of popcap I think Bejewelled, Plant vs Zombies, Peggle, Zuma, and Chuzzle, although they have a lot more games. All are available on iOS, Android and WP7, all are available on Steam, I believe all but chuzzle are on Xbox, and as far as I know only two are on Facebook (Bejewelled blitz and Zuma blitz). Surely popcap have easily as much a presence on mobile as Facebook, and a much better presence than your beloved Zynga.
I would say their main problem is they are owned by an American public corporation, which operate like an American public corporation, who would make the designer of one of their biggest hits redundant one day after announcing a sequel. I've never heard anyone suggest Popcap were a Facebook oriented company.
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Show all comments (8)
I think its just Bruce have a pop at popcap

A far better example is the looong drop of Zynga whilst Kixeye, kicks dirt and sand into Zynga by thriving and poaching Zyngas staff. Kixeye have also been highly profitable, with a far smaller user base. They actually make games. Which is why they do better overall on the FB platform.

surprise surprise, it was no surprise that making games was the key after all!
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises5 years ago
Facebook is for stalkers, not for gamers.
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Andrew Animator 5 years ago
It is no longer damaging Britain's GDP by consuming working hours in the way it once was.
Was this ever the case??
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Jeffrey Kesselman CTO, Nphos5 years ago
When people like Zynga got started on Faceqbook, publishing was free and you could leverage social spam to freely advertise to your heart's content. It was a virtual developers paradise. Given all that, zynga still only managed a dollar or so a year of revenue per customer due to the inherent weakness of the micro transaction monetization model.

Today, Facebook takes thirty cents of every dollar you make and strictly controls social spamvertising.

It's no wonder e bloom is off the rose.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jeffrey Kesselman on 29th August 2012 1:36am

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Chuan L Game Designer / Indie Developer 5 years ago
Title and thrust of the article is misleading --
Facebook apps are the same as HTML5 apps, and there's no inherent difference in the cost of producing either save for some extra hooks into the social graph. What changed however, was that over the last 2 -years casual gaming literacy increased while these shitty developers kept churning out micro -transaction based grindfests.

And now all these same fucking rats are jumping onto "mobile" from a sinking platform because of the amazing ARPU on GREE and DeNA. Too bad this blind faith is misplaced though as the patterns of usage and socialisation is different in the West, and can never reach the same high watermark as Japan or Korea. Am thinking Apple TV next year will be the real platform for developers to get excited about.

-- Chuan

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Chuan L on 3rd September 2012 7:07am

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